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Old 04-18-2006, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Savannah, GA
3 posts, read 29,786 times
Reputation: 21

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My husband and I are interested in moving somewhere near DC, but we don't know much about the area. We want to live in a smaller to mid-size town, something with some charm, but also things to do. We won't be working in DC so we don't need to be close enough to commute, but want to be close enough to drive in for the day or events. We are planning a visit in early May and have no idea where to look. Can someone recommend some towns to visit while we are there?
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Old 04-19-2006, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Anne Arundel County MD
262 posts, read 2,026,352 times
Reputation: 523
Default recommendations

My top 10 places to live in the greater DC area in no particular order are as follows. Please give me more criteria for what you are looking for (home price, safety, traffic, shopping, schools, restaurants, culture, etc). and I'll give you a better answer. Also let me know if you want Virginia cities and I'll throw out a few recommendations.

Howard County
Columbia
Clarksville

Frederick County
New Market

Anne Arundel County
Annapolis
Severna Park
Crofton
Davidsonville

Montgomery County
Rockville
Olney
Damascus
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Indy – moving to Baltimore area
5 posts, read 79,855 times
Reputation: 19
Default need moving advice

pkoons, you seem to know alot about the area. We're mvoing to the Baltimore area soon, and we're looking for the right place to live.

We like "different, artsy, but not to trendy" but don't have much to spend on a house – around 250K. We also need to be where the schools are decent, we have a 13 year old. It doesn't have to be the BEST school.

We've been stuck in the flatlands of Indiana for the past 7 years, so anything near water would be a plus...I asked in another thread about edgemere – do you know anything about it?
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Anne Arundel County MD
262 posts, read 2,026,352 times
Reputation: 523
Post Edgemere etc.

Edgemere is an area that I generally group with Dundalk/Sparrows Point. Essex/Middle River is a similar area directly north. If I had to pick one word to describe these areas east of Baltimore I would probably have to say they're very...gritty. That can be a good and bad thing. On the plus-side, they're all relatively safe blue-collar towns with MUCH better schools than in the city. On the minus-side, and I'll be honest here, there is heavy industry that contributes to the somewhat foul odor of the area. It's not altogether intolerable, but it IS inescapable - the waste treatment plant on Back River is the main culprit. If you're in Edgemere, you're out of the immediate Dundalk area it's not so bad. There is also the port where all the longshoremen work along with the steel & General Motors plants. Very industrial, hardly artsy or commerce-heavy.

I have been to a handful of Dundalk bars, most of the people are friendly. There are a fair amount of liquor stores, strip clubs, and adult video stores so it can be considered a seedy area. But I generally feel safe. Edgemere is probably a step above Dundalk as a whole in terms of safety and condition of homes, but a step BELOW Dundalk in terms of shopping, things to do, and proximity to the city/highways. If you lived in Edgemere I believe that Dundalk High School is the school district, I don't know anyone who went there, but it seems to be OK - better than all Balt. city schools but worse than neighboring Howard/Anne Arundel/Harford/northern Baltimore County high schools.

If you're looking for fun and artsy, check out the Hampden section of Baltimore. If you have kids it may be a little too urban but it's definitely affordable, unique, and an increasingly up-and-coming area. You'll definitely see property appreciation and some good places to eat.

If you're looking for affordability near the water, check out Pasadena - the areas near Riviera Beach and Green Haven. You'll be closer to Annapolis, there are much better schools than most of the Baltimore area, and there is less crime. You can get a nice townhouse for around $250K and walk to the water (a good friend of mine lives around here).

Other recommendations would be Catonsville (near UMBC college) and Ellicott City (if you would consider condo living). Good luck!
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:37 AM
 
3 posts, read 15,585 times
Reputation: 26
Default Ellicott City/Columbia

I grew up in Columbia and Ellicott City (and now live in Austin, TX [for school]). Although it's been awhile, Howard County (central MD just south of Baltimore) and Montgomery County (south of Howard Co., I believe) had the "best" schools. I think they're still pretty good.

Columbia was the first planned city and is set up such that there is a town center (Mall, restaurants, lake, etc.) and then "villages" all around the center. Each "village" has it's own amenities, too - grocery stores, restaurants, shops (Target, Kohls, Home Depot ...). Ellicott City is just next door. New condos and town homes have been built that are probably more affordable. These cities are considered suburbs of Baltimore (1/2 hr to the north) and D.C. (45 minutes to the south), so access to more culture and "things to do" are pretty convenient, but you can still live in a quieter area away from the hustle and bustle (and traffic) of the larger cities.

I don't know as much about Montgomery County, but most areas are quite nice in that county. Perhaps a little pricier, too, as you get closer to D.C.

Silver Spring in Montgomery Co. (i think) is a growing city, but may be more affordable (?) than other surrounding areas like Bethesda, Chevy Chase, etc. Silver Spring has a convenient metro stop that will take you into D.C., too.

Near Baltimore, I knew friends who moved into the Owings Mills area (north of Baltimore), but that may be getting pricier these days. A nice area, though.

I'm sorry that some of my information is based on what I knew a few years back, and with the growth of the cities, I may be listing areas that are not within your range - but I hope this gives you [mamaroo] a few places to check out.
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:44 PM
 
3 posts, read 91,408 times
Reputation: 17
Default Ellicott City

For you and your husband, I would suggest Ellicott City. It's in Howard County and is about 5 min. from Columbia, 20 min from Baltimore and 35 min from D.C. Many people there work in either Baltimore or D.C. Since you said you wanted somewhere with charm, you would definitely enjoy Ellicott City. It has a quaint little Historic District with beautiful old stores and a rich and interesting history. Good luck in MD!!
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:44 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,637 times
Reputation: 8
We happen to be relocating due to my husband's work and we're selling a home that's in a wonderful rural neighborhood that's very family oriented and near blue ribbon schools. We live currently in a city named Huntingtown in Maryland. It's within driving distance of DC but not right in the middle of the city hustle and bustle.

I must warn you it's much more expensive up this way than I've seen down south (My husband is from Louisiana) so try not to choke when you see home prices up this way . [moderator CUT]
Good luck in your move.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zeus025
My husband and I are interested in moving somewhere near DC, but we don't know much about the area. We want to live in a smaller to mid-size town, something with some charm, but also things to do. We won't be working in DC so we don't need to be close enough to commute, but want to be close enough to drive in for the day or events. We are planning a visit in early May and have no idea where to look. Can someone recommend some towns to visit while we are there?
Right now Howard County and Calvert County are the best state wide for the public school system. My husband works in Columbia but almost everything is already developed out that way and we wanted to build again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesStro
I grew up in Columbia and Ellicott City (and now live in Austin, TX [for school]). Although it's been awhile, Howard County (central MD just south of Baltimore) and Montgomery County (south of Howard Co., I believe) had the "best" schools. I think they're still pretty good.

Columbia was the first planned city and is set up such that there is a town center (Mall, restaurants, lake, etc.) and then "villages" all around the center. Each "village" has it's own amenities, too - grocery stores, restaurants, shops (Target, Kohls, Home Depot ...). Ellicott City is just next door. New condos and town homes have been built that are probably more affordable. These cities are considered suburbs of Baltimore (1/2 hr to the north) and D.C. (45 minutes to the south), so access to more culture and "things to do" are pretty convenient, but you can still live in a quieter area away from the hustle and bustle (and traffic) of the larger cities.

I don't know as much about Montgomery County, but most areas are quite nice in that county. Perhaps a little pricier, too, as you get closer to D.C.

Silver Spring in Montgomery Co. (i think) is a growing city, but may be more affordable (?) than other surrounding areas like Bethesda, Chevy Chase, etc. Silver Spring has a convenient metro stop that will take you into D.C., too.

Near Baltimore, I knew friends who moved into the Owings Mills area (north of Baltimore), but that may be getting pricier these days. A nice area, though.

I'm sorry that some of my information is based on what I knew a few years back, and with the growth of the cities, I may be listing areas that are not within your range - but I hope this gives you [mamaroo] a few places to check out.
DId you want to put the 250k down on a home to get the mortgage to be manageable or were you expecting to buy a home for that amount?

You may have a hard time doing the latter since the home prices are really crazy in most areas now depending on the size of the homes involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaroo
pkoons, you seem to know alot about the area. We're mvoing to the Baltimore area soon, and we're looking for the right place to live.

We like "different, artsy, but not to trendy" but don't have much to spend on a house – around 250K. We also need to be where the schools are decent, we have a 13 year old. It doesn't have to be the BEST school.

We've been stuck in the flatlands of Indiana for the past 7 years, so anything near water would be a plus...I asked in another thread about edgemere – do you know anything about it?

Last edited by Marka; 05-26-2006 at 12:08 AM.. Reason: merged
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